Legislative Update – August 18, 2016

 

 

Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session.

Hope for a Special Session fades

After a roughly 30 minute meeting today with legislative leaders, Governor Dayton emerged saying there will be no special session.  In his statement, Dayton said he plans to put a tax and bonding bill forward at the start of next session, using two failed bills as a base, adding, It’s “back to the drawing boards” on Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) funding options.

Speaker Daudt said special session fell over SWLRT project as Democrats didn’t want to negotiate other issues without project.  Daudt said too many questions remain over ongoing operating costs of light rail addressed, says it’s inefficient to move people by rail.  He continued by saying Minnesota has a rich tradition of divided government and that the GOP was elected because DFL left greater Minnesota behind.

In his comments, Senate Majority Leader Bakk said they gave Speaker Daudt four transportation options at last meeting, but he came to today’s meeting with no counter-offers or proposals.  Bakk noted, that the proposed bonding bill doesn’t address metro area, all greater Minnesota, “we need balance between metro and rural and that SWLRT would have provided geographic balance”.

Government Relations team:

Jaime Simonsen – Jaime.simonsen@so.mnscu.edu Bernie Omann – Bernie.omann@so.mnscu.edu Jim Grathwol – jim.grathwol@so.mnscu.edu

 

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